Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SE Alaska
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Consider some of the problems you are very likely to encounter on a 30ft10K boat:
Complete bottom job w/blister repair (2-3K)
Engine, even small things like waterpumps and exhaust elbows will put you at 1K up to 8K for a re power.
Rig: 1-2K easy
Sails: you can get used, but a good cruising main/ jib is going to be 2k per sail
Electrical: even the most simple jobs quickly turn into costly nightmares
Fittings: Thruhulls, figure $100-200 per thruhull if they need to be replaced
See where this is going? When you start talking watermakers and liferafts, to be frightfully honest, I get the sense you guys haven't done your homework. My experience has shown, doing all work myself, starting at with a reasonably well maintained boat, with discounted parts that a reliable 30 foot cruiser is going to end up in the 30-40k range. This is without a liferaft, water maker, or any other luxury item. Things do get simple fast when you downsize. I have no doubt a Vega, Triton or Contessa 26 would get you well within your budget, but things get so expensive so fast!!! From San Diego to Washington for instance, I spent $1,900 on repairing broken equipment alone, not to mention fuel (mainsail, autopilot, and alternator). And I thought my boat was ready!!! Approach these things with great skepticism, but keep your dream. I really, firmly, really, advocate the idea of getting a boat to learn on, even live aboard, first.